Friday, October 31, 2014

With apologies in advance...
Happy Halloween!

ABOVE: Hey, it's just a vintage postcard. That's what we do here. It just happens to be a vintage postcard that shows Quacky Duck, who was the "Magical Balloon King" and "The Clown All Youngsters Look Up To," according to the text on the back of this Curteichcolor postcard distributed by Buckeye News Co. of Toledo, Ohio. Regarding Quacky, the text further states: "Featuring magic productions and balloonology. His entire career has been devoted to good wholesome entertainment. Featured on radio, TV, state and county fairs, trade shows, country clubs, shopping centers, private parties, picnics, and circus." Quacky was based in Toledo.

ABOVE: This advertising postcard for something called Expo '70 is autographed by "Wimpey," who I presume to be the clown in the center. The rest of the postcard, front and back, is in Japanese (I think), so I'm really not sure what's going on here. The rainbow is a nice touch, though.

Finally, for this Allhallowe'en, here's a spooktacular vintage postcard featuring one of the most haunted buildings in the United States...

Still in the mood for spooky stuff? Here's a launching off spot for Papergreat's Halloween-themed posts.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Covers from three 1950s issues of Cats Magazine

On one hand, this post is a day late, because yesterday was officially National Cat Day. But let's face it. Pretty much every day is National Cat Day. It's all about them. So here you go, fellow cat lovers. Enjoy these three covers from 1950s issues of Cats Magazine.

This magazine was, according to its masthead, combined with Alice Graydon Phillips' Our Cats. It was published out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by Raymond D. Smith, who also served as editor. These issues include advertisements for products such as 3 Little Kittens All-Fish Cat Food, Cat Comfort absorbent litter, Felix's Maltolatum (for hairballs), Puss 'n Boots cat food, and Pet Pamper cat litter from the Southern Ezy-Mix Co. of Memphis, Tennessee.

Some of the article titles include "Cats' Bill of Rights Year," "Breeding Possibilities Inherent in Longhairs," "The Meowless Kittens," "Summer and Your Cat," "School of Feline Drama," and — gasp — "Cats Are Stupid."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pride, coal and clocks: Ads from 1981 issue of National Geographic

National Geographic remains one of my favorite magazines. Some articles that you won't find anywhere else that I've really enjoyed in the past 12 months include pieces on nuclear tourism, Svaneti (Georgia), and hay farmers in Transylvania. And there are a bunch of articles from 2014 I still need to go back and read, too. So little time!

I also enjoy reading the (way) back issues. The articles don't get too dated, but the advertisements can provide an interesting look back in time.

These are three advertisements the piqued my interest from the November 1981 issue, which has stories about pandas, Mount St. Helens and Orange County in California.

"Is this country in the autumn of its time?" is an interesting way to begin an advertisement for home appliances. Whirlpool was asking Americans to renew their faith in the United States' heritage of pride and quality at a time when the Reagan Era was in its first year (and had already included an assassination attempt), Three's Company and The Dukes of Hazzard were among our most popular TV achievements, and the early 1980s recession was underway.

"Whirlpool believes that this is not the onset of winter but the advent of spring."

The less I say, the better about the 33-year-old advertisement from Atlantic Richfield Company. I'll let it speak for itself.

GE Computer Radio
And here's a great example of how far technology has come in one-third of a century. This was the cutting-edge clock in 1981. Program your favorite radio stations! Deploy the Snooz-Alarm®! Enjoy the faux-wood design! "The Great Awakening Computer Radio is so smart it even tells you when you've made an error." It's like having HAL 9000 by your bedside!

1971 advertisement for issue #2 of "Balthus" fanzine

Here's a neat piece of ephemera, just in time for Halloween.

It's a classy, seven-inch-by-nine-inch advertisement for the second issue of Jon M. Harvey's "Balthus" fanzine. I found it tucked away inside a copy of David A. Sutton's July 1971 fanzine "Bibliotheca: H.P. Lovecraft."

Harvey, of Cardiff, Wales, only published four issues of "Balthus" — two in 1971 and two in 1972. It is documented online only briefly, at Fancyclopedia 3 and the British Fanzine Bibliography. In 1975, Harvey served as editor of a 24-page publication titled Cthulhu: Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.

The flyer, however, provides a nice amount of detail about what he had planned for "Balthus" #2. Here's the text:
If you like folk-lore, the supernatural, horror and the fantasy of Abraham Merritt then the second issue of BALTHUS is for you! The contents of this issue consist of:

THE ETERNAL HUNTSMEN, a look at some of the many legends surrounding the lore of the Wild Hunt by Jon M. Harvey. Illustrated by Rick Scollins.

THE SMUGGLERS OF PENROSE, a ghost story from old Cornwall by Sarah L. Eneys.

ASH SHADOW, a short fictional horror by Mark Adlard. Illustrated by David Lloyd.

ABRAHAM MERRITT, a look at the man and his works written and illustrated by Brian J. Frost.

ASHES TO ASHES; printed separately from the rest of the magazine it contains an edited selection of letters on the first issue of BALTHUS.

Cover illustration by Jim Pitts; an adaptation from Clark Ashton Smith's "The Maker of Gargoyles".

Price per copy is 20p (60c). Reduced rates for bulk orders. There are a few copies of the first issue available also priced 20p. The second issue will be out late October, so order copies from:

jon m. harvey, 18, cefn road,
cardiff cf4 3hs
If any of that piques your interest, as of this writing, one copy of "Balthus" #2 is available from an AbeBooks UK seller.